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  • Mast part Machines on a Hurco

    Out with the old ... (Story by Cutting Tool Engineering)

    Just because a piece of equipment functions doesn’t mean a shop should keep using it. Mast Motorsports realized that a couple machine tools at its Walled ...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Automotive, Moldmaker, UltiMotion

    Just because a piece of equipment functions doesn’t mean a shop should keep using it. Mast Motorsports realized that a couple machine tools at its Walled Lake, Mich., facility had become technologically obsolete and, therefore, needed to be replaced. The Nacogdoches, Texas-headquartered company manufactures automotive components, such as cylinder heads, intake manifolds and induction systems, for street performance and racing. Mast primarily machines aluminum and plastic.

     

    After researching suitable replacement machines from Hurco North America at a trade show and considering similar offerings from other machine tool builders, Mast purchased two Hurco 5-axis CNC milling machines: a VMX60SRTi and a VMX42SWi. “The best replacement was the configuration Hurco had to offer,” said Cary Chouinard, director of manufacturing at Mast.

     

    According to Indianapolis-based Hurco, the machines are configured to use a swivel head with either an A- or C-style rotary table. The rotary table measures 66"×26" (1,676.4mm × 660.4mm) and enhances versatility because it can provide extra table space for secondary operations or 3-axis work.

     

    Chouinard also appreciates that the milling machines’ controls allow additional work to be performed at the machines. “The whole manual for operating the machine and everything that you want to know is right at the controller,” he said.

     

    In addition, programming the machines isn’t a challenge. “Whether you’re using G and M codes or manually programming them, it’s very simple,” Chouinard said.

     

    Compared to Mast’s outdated equipment, the Hurco machines are almost twice as fast, according to Chouinard. He added that Mast has been able to decrease machining time while reducing the step-over and producing more consistent and higher-quality parts. “The cost savings have been huge,” Chouinard said.

     

    Although the quickness of the machines enables aggressive cutting, Chouinard noted the machines, which have a peak spindle motor horsepower of 48 hp (36.5kW) at 2,900 rpm, are quiet enough so that he can hear what is happening throughout the 7,500-sq.-ft. shop.

     

    “It’s more advantageous for us to run with one line of machines,” Chouinard said, “so we’re trying to go with all Hurco equipment here.”

     

    Read the full story from Cutting Tool Engineering here


    Watch The Video From IMTS 2016

  • Nic and Dean from JFR

    The creation of the Force American Made (FAM) machine shop at John Force Racing (JFR) is a story about turning tragedy into triumph.

    At 33, Eric Medlen was a rising star in the NHRA drag racing circuit, winner of six tour events, eight times a number one qualifier, he was a media favori...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Automotive, Lathe, Mill Turn, Motorsports, UltiMotion

    At 33, Eric Medlen was a rising star in the NHRA drag racing circuit, winner of six tour events, eight times a number one qualifier, he was a media favorite for his running commentary, and a fan favorite for both his accessibility and his enthusiasm. Medlen’s path to drag racing wasn’t typical. As a high school rodeo champion and calf roping protégé to two-time PRCA World Champion Jerold Camarillo, he was planning to join Camarillo’s team when his dad, John Medlen, called with the job he had always dreamed of: working alongside him at John Force Racing.


    After eight years as a JFR crew member, Eric got the chance of a lifetime: team owner John Force chose Eric to replace JFR driver Tony Pedregon, who left JFR to form a new team with his brother at the end of the 2003 season. According to JFR, Eric said at the time, “My dad was my hero growing up and I always dreamed that we’d wind up racing together, but I never dreamed that I’d be driving and he’d be the crew chief on the same car, especially at a place like John Force Racing.”


     

    FAM manufactures tens of thousands of parts per year
    Eric Medlen | 1973 - 2007
    After just six seasons, Eric Medlen’s life was cut short in March of 2007 when he died from injuries sustained during a testing accident in Florida. The initial outpouring of grief after Eric’s death was quickly followed by a universal show of support that resulted in the creation of The Eric Medlen Project, the thrust of which was the design of a safer race car and the creation of a safer environment in which to compete.

     


    John Force
    threw his complete support behind the project by opening a state-of-the-art machine shop at the team’s newly built 180,000-square-foot facility in Brownsburg, Indiana. Eric’s father, John Medlen, became project manager of the Eric Medlen Project and worked with Ford Motor Company, the NHRA, SFI, chassis builder Murf McKinney and a host of others in an unprecedented display of cooperation.


    Ironically, John Force was the first driver to benefit from the initial changes that were made to the chassis as part of the Eric Medlen Project.  Although Force broke bones in his hands and feet when he crashed at Ennis, Texas, in September of 2007, he had no serious head or neck injuries.


    The improvements that made Force’s survival possible included a wider roll cage, extra padding within it, the switch from five-point to seven-point harnesses and a head-and-neck restraint system that limits side-to-side movement as well as front-to back.


    Fast forward to 2016, and the Force American Made employs 24 out of JFR’s approximately 100 employees.  The 7 machine shop employees operate the team’s 17 CNC machines, with the latest additions to the fleet being six Hurco CNC machines: a 3-axis VMX30i , a 5-axis VMX42SRTi, a 3-axis VMX6030i, TMX8MYSi mill turn slant-bed lathe, and two TMM8i slant-bed lathes with live tooling.


     

    FAM manufactures tens of thousands of parts per year
    Manifold Fuel Block Machined on Hurco VMX42SRTi
    FAM manufactures tens of thousands of parts per year that range from small consumable parts to super chargers, engine blocks and cylinder heads. Approximately 90% are 7075 and 7050 aluminum and the other 10% are Titanium Grade 9 (6AL4V).


    Dean "Guido" Antonelli, General Manager of Force American Made, said, 

    “When we evaluate machines to replace existing equipment, I am always looking to improve tolerances and spindle speed as well as expand the shop’s capabilities and find ways to increase efficiency. Our tolerances are in the ten-thousandths, which means accuracy and repeatability are critical when it comes to the CNC machines we select.”

     

    Antonelli said the Hurco CNC machines have outperformed his expectations. Antonelli and Nic Barnes, the Machine Shop Supervisor, said the benefits they appreciate the most from the new Hurco CNC machines are the surface finish quality, fast rapids, rigidity, accuracy, the robust technical specifications of the Hurco control, the swing-arm ATC design and tool capacity, and the productivity gains from adopting 5-sided machining for parts they used to manufacture on 3-axis machines.

     

    “We’re always looking to improve the quality and strength as well as the fit and the finish of the parts we make. With the Hurcos, the finish is like jewelry. I don’t even have to polish the parts,” said Barnes.

     

    The impressive surface finish quality is due to the motion control system Hurco invented. Named UltiMotion, the patented motion control system is software driven and consists of millions of algorithms working in the background to provide optimized look-ahead.


    Available on all Hurco 3-axis and 5-axis mills, the user doesn’t have to do anything to make UltiMotion work. While the technology is complex, there is no setup or configuration required. In addition to delivering superb surface finishes, UltiMotion also reduces cycle time by up to 35%, and sometimes more, because it minimizes machine jerk and evaluates the part geometry to calculate the optimal lookahead (up to 10,000 blocks).


    The team uses MasterCAM to create the majority of its part programs, which Barnes and Antonelli said is another advantage of selecting Hurco CNC machines. “We’ve always heard about the Hurco control being really good at conversational programming, but what we’ve found is that it’s true when they say it is the most flexible control in the industry. It processes G-code better than any of the machines we’ve had in the past,” said Antonelli. The technical specifications of the Hurco control that eliminate the hassle the FAM shop experienced in the past with other controls include a 2.7GHz Dual Core Processor, 4GB RAM Memory, and a 128GB Solid State Hard Drive, and up to 4,000 bps processing speed.

     

    “It’s a big deal,” Barnes said of the memory and speed with which the Hurco control loads part programs. “We have a flywheel part with two operations that we separated into two part programs because it would take 52 minutes just to load one operation before we got the Hurco. But now, with the Hurco control, it takes 10 seconds.”
    “And the memory is so great we can have multiple programs loaded instead of loading them one at a time,” said Barnes. The graphics display, called Advanced Verification Graphics, is another winning feature of the Hurco control, according to Barnes. “It just gives me peace of mind to know I can see the detail of what the tool is doing and know there aren’t any crashes. The display is really clear and offers different views on the DRO.”

     

    We have a flywheel part with two operations that we separated into two part programs because it would take 52 minutes just to load one operation before we got the Hurco. But now, with the Hurco control, it takes 10 seconds.
    Clutch Flywheel Pressure Plate Machined on Hurco VMX6030i

     

    However, the biggest advantage the team has seen in terms of productivity has been the decision to embrace 5-sided machining on 5-axis machines, a trend that is becoming the norm in shops of all sizes across the nation.

    “On our fuel distribution blocks, we went from six operations to two. With six ops, the part took a total of six hours and on the 5-axis machine it takes four hours,” said Barnes.

     

    Not only does the adoption of 5-sided save setup time since the machinist doesn’t need to manually flip parts and then fixture them again for each operation, machining time is decreased.

     

    “On the main cap, we went from 22.5 minutes of machine time on the 3-axis machine to just 16 minutes,”
    said Barnes.

     
    As the JFR manufacturing team looks to the future, they continue to honor the life of not only Eric Medlen but all drag racers who have lost their lives and challenge them to continuously evaluate ways to improve safety on the race track. Hurco is proud to be a part of such an important mission and a proud sponsor of John Force Racing.

    Click to watch the Video: Inside John Force Racing Machine Shop

    John Force Racing Machine Shop Video
    ​​
  • Aerodyne Team

    Aerodyne Precision Machining - 5 Axis Machining is a game changer for Surf City shop

    Aerodyne Precision Machining Inc. (APM) incorporated thirty years ago in Southern California’s Surf City, Huntington Beach, California. What started out a...Read moreTags: 5-Axis

    Aerodyne Precision Machining Inc. (APM) incorporated thirty years ago in Southern California’s Surf City, Huntington Beach, California. What started out as a home based company in Raymond Krispel’s garage has grown into a 20,000 sq.ft. manufacturing facility with 32 employees and well over a dozen CNC milling and turning centers.

     

    APM is one of the larger Hurco shops in Southern California, and just made the jump to 5 axis machining three years ago. “We’ve been dealing with Machinery Sales for a couple years,” explains Eric. “Garry Frost, his sales staff and service team do a great job supporting the Hurco product line, but it took us a while to finally pull the trigger on our first 5 axis.” After seeing it run at an open house, APM ordered a Hurco VMX42U. It is a 24hp machine with 40 tools and Hurco’s integrated trunnion table. “Combined setup and training was less than two weeks,” adds Ben. “We were cutting chips on actual jobs before the training crew even left.” APM discovered that the 5 axis not only changed the way they machined parts, but also how they looked at jobs. “We are taking a part that used to have 8 operations and now only two at most,” explains Eric. “Besides the time savings we have seen a huge bump in overall accuracy.

     

    Aerodyne Precision Machining (APM) credits Hurco and its extensive product line as being an integral part of their success. APM has been a Hurco customer for many years, but just purchased their first 5-axis CNC machine three years ago after seeing a cutting demonstration at Machinery Sales Company’s open house. With their new Hurco 5-axis machining center, APM reduced the number of operations on just one part from 8 to 2. The programmers all love the Hurco control, specifically the user friendly quality, and say the Hurco control is one of the biggest selling points of the machines.

    Aerodyne Precision Machining
    1.) Eric is a self proclaimed Hurco enthusiast and feels the Hurco controls are some of the most user friendly in the business.
    2.) Simple jobs are made easier by being able to program on the machine. Ben finds the conversational to be very useful.
    3.) APM has 11 Hurco milling centers including three 5-axis machines.
    4.) Hurco’s integrated trunnion table makes 5-axis machining quick and accurate.

    Read the full article by Sean Buur published in the March 2016 issue of CNC West Magazine

    Photos by Sean Buur & Aerodyne

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    Ed Carpenter Racing + Hurco

    Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) partnered with Hurco to gain an edge in the competitive world of IndyCar. Two Hurco CNC machines grind out parts for the motorsp...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Motorsports, Conversational, Lathe, NC, 5-Axis
    Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) partnered with Hurco to gain an edge in the competitive world of IndyCar. Two Hurco CNC machines grind out parts for the motorsports team located in Speedway, Indiana. In return, the Hurco logo is displayed on the team’s cars and uniforms in addition to special access for customer events during the IndyCar season.

     
    Robbie Ott, the head machinist at CFH Racing runs the machine shop. He discussed the transition to Hurco machines after we installed our flagship Hurco VMX42i mill and a TM8i lathe. Ott also elaborated on the possible benefits he expects when the shop adds the Hurco VMX42SRTi 5-axis machine.

    Setup Time

    "Switching from manual machining to 3-axis CNC, setup times have been reduced, even with the need for cutting soft jaws. Although the soft jaws take a lot of time that would not have been spent necessarily in the manual world, the time savings incurred is priceless. The CNC's manual jog and DRO also save time making part setup quick. I would imagine that when I make the switch to 5-axis machining, setup times will be reduced again, possibly more than the reduction from manual to 3-axis.The need for only two setups per part vs. six (or even more) will reduce setup times tremendously and I am looking forward to making the switch," said Ott.  

    Workholding/Tooling Reductions

    “Workholding was nearly non-existent in the manual world, so moving into 3-axis opened up a new world for me with fixturing. I have built some pretty extravagant fixtures for machining 4-6 sides of a part (not including the initial 'first op' side).   A great deal of the work I do on the Hurco is experimental and proprietary damper parts.The Dampers, or 'shock absorbers' are one of the most important parts of an Indy car and Hurco has allowed us to make strides in developing our own manifolds for managing fluid flow. These parts require multiple fixtures for machine opps on all sides and some angular setups.I am eager to get started with the VMX42SRTi and reduce my fixturing to one simple mount for the other 5 sides of a part or 'hemisphere' if you will.”  

    Part Accuracy

    "I would say that the accuracy of parts is tremendously better with the 3-axis CNC vs. manual machining.I would say that the accuracy of parts is tremendously better with the 3-axis CNC vs. manual machining.I was pretty good at holding half of a thousandth tolerance on the manual machine (if needed), but it was painful.With the Hurco machines, I get tenth of thousandths tolerance without even trying.The major advantage of moving from 3-axis to 5-axis I anticipate will be the accuracy in which the respective operations line up on the finished product.We all know that a half of a thousandth difference in surface matching is visible and can even be felt.Getting it perfect in the 3-axis machine is next to impossible (you are only as good as your fixture is!).Need I say I rarely attempted these types of operations in the manual mill, and at the end of the day, functionality was key, and abrasives were almost always necessary," explained Ott.  

    Surface Finish

    "I was completely amazed the first time I saw the Hurco cut metal!I had never seen such beauty.The combination of being flooded in Quaker coolant and the precise match of feeds and speeds left a surface finish that I never knew could be produced.The improvement that I look forward to in the switch to 5-axisis in the transition from surface to surface as described before."  



    Processing

    "Having a TMX8i and VMX42i machine next to each other has become a processing dream.After I became fluent in both "languages" if you will, I find myself often making use of both machines at the same time. Often I am turning a part in the lathe that I will then put in the mill for some milling opps to turn out a finished part efficiently. One example of this is threaded spring perches which I have made often, even before Hurco.This part has a series of holes around it for a spanner wrench, and a couple of threaded holes as well. I write 8 short programs, placing a position block in between so I can open the door and turn the table to press start again.This may seem barbaric, but believe me, it is still 10 times faster than doing it on a manual mill.This is a processing improvement that I look forward to when I switch to the 5-axis machine, no more rotary table. Other times my Hurcos are making completely different items, either way, it can be extremely productive for me."  


    Flexibility in prototype manufacturing

    "I especially like using the Hurco when building prototypes. Just recently we built prototype damper parts. And like with most prototypes, we did not succeed the first time. Hurco gave us the flexibility to make modifications quickly and easily without starting from scratch.Hurco and HSM Works solid modeling allowed us to build these extravagant and complicated parts that would not have been possible on the manual machine," concluded Ott.

     

  • RP Tooling interior picture

    RP Tooling Reduces Cycle Time with Hurco

    ​An article in Engieering Capacity features Hurco customer RP Tooling, a company focused on toolmaking with 50% of their parts being used for vehicles suc...Read moreTags: Automotive, 3-Axis Mill, 5-Axis, UltiMotion, Moldmaker

    ​An article in Engieering Capacity features Hurco customer RP Tooling, a company focused on toolmaking with 50% of their parts being used for vehicles such as the Range Rover Sport, Audi R8 Etron, F-Type Jaguar and the Ford Ranger. The other half of RP Toolings molds could be components anything from medical equipment to lawn mowers to boilers. 


    RP Tooling's owner says that a new feature in the Hurco software on the latest machines, called Ultimotion, reduces cycle times by up to 30 per cent. UltiMotion was invented by Hurco and includes software-based look-ahead, which uses an advanced algorithm within WinMax to evaluate the component geometry and motion profile of the cutting cycle to optimise and smooth the tool paths. 


    The company finds UltiMotion especially beneficial when profiling complex features, reducing manufacturing costs and allowing more competitive prices to be quoted. So great are the advantages that all of RP Tooling’s Hurco controls will be updated this year with the new software.


    RP Tooling currently has 11 Hurco 3-axis machining centers and one Hurco 5-axis machining center.


    Read the full article.​

    Image copyright © Mercator Media 2015

  • Lou Ferriero, owner of PlasTech

    PlasTech - Success with 5-Axis Transition + UltiMotion

    ​Lou Ferriero was working in a plastics vacuum forming house when he identified a market that wasn’t being served. When he started PlasTech Machining and ...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, 5-Axis, Conversational, NC, UltiMotion, Medical, Aerospace, Defense

    ​Lou Ferriero was working in a plastics vacuum forming house when he identified a market that wasn’t being served. When he started PlasTech Machining and Fabrication Inc., he had one employee (himself) and one manual machine. Today, PlasTech has nine employees, six vertical machining centers, one 5 axis machining center, three turning centers, and Ferriero is thinking about upgrading to a multi-tasking turning center with live tooling and a sub-spindle.


    With more than 35 years of experience in the machining and fabrication of plastics, Ferriero is proud that 80 percent of PlasTech’s business is from repeat customers. Approximately 50% of his business is devoted to medical equipment.

     
    “We focus on high quality and precision. We don’t waste time trying to be the cheapest machine shop out there. Our prices are usually in the middle of the road compared to our competitors. We are the best at what we do and pride ourselves on delivering quality parts on time.”  It appears PlasTech’s focus on quality versus price is working. According to Ferriero, companies that shipped jobs overseas for cheaper rates have started bringing the business back to PlasTech. “We lost jobs to overseas suppliers about five years ago and most of that work has come back,” said Ferriero.

     

    UltiMotion

    A big part of PlasTech’s success is due to Ferriero’s commitment to stay current with technology by investing in new equipment. As PlasTech has grown, so has his investment in Hurco machine tools and Hurco technology. His latest investment in a Hurco software feature called UltiMotion continues to provide benefits beyond Ferriero’s expectations. As an example, Ferriero cites a part used for head restraints on hospital beds.  “When we machined the parts on our RoboDrill, it took 30 minutes per part. On our Hurco with UltiMotion, it takes 20 minutes and the surface finish quality improved significantly,” says Ferrierro.


    UltiMotion is able to simultaneously decrease cycle time and increase surface finish quality due to the underlying motion control algorithm Hurco developed that uses software-based motion instead of conventional hardware-based motion. UltiMotion software has rapid cornering capabilities that allow the spindle to travel through corners at high speed with negligible deviation without overshooting or stopping. Therefore, cycle time is significantly reduced when machining parts with complex geometries and/or repetitive tasks, such as drilling and tapping. Customers with UltiMotion also see improvement in surface finish because UltiMotion minimizes vibration, which results in smoother motion overall.

     

    Flexible Control that Supports NC and Conversational

    While PlasTech finds the conversational programming of the integrated Hurco control extremely useful to quickly make a fixture, Ferriero says he uses the NC side of the control for all of his jobs. Keeping his CAM system current is another technology investment that Ferriero continually makes to keep his company up to speed. PlasTech uses Mastercam X5 Cad /Cam software with Mill Level 3 and solids, Mastercam Lathe, verification software, Solidworks, and E2 Shop Systems for shop control.

     

    The Power of Five

    Like many prudent job shop owners, Ferriero’s latest machining center investment was a Hurco VM10U 5-axis machining center instead of a traditional 3-axis machine. The VM10U is part of the integrated trunnion style 5-axis machines from Hurco. With X/Y/Z travels of 21x16x19 and a 20-station ATC, the VM10U is one of the highest value 5-axis machines on the market.

     
    Ferriero bought the VM10U to cut down on setups and has realized numerous productivity benefits. "The Hurco VM10U has exceeded our expectations. It has cut down on cost, time, labor and material," said Ferriero.

     

    He cited a specific example for an article that appeared in Manufacturing News. The job entailed the manufacture of plastic components for prototype parts for de-icing the C-130 aircraft. "Without the VM10U 5-axis machine this would have been nearly impossible to get done on time for our customer," said Ferriero. "After offline programming, the setup time on the machine was done in a few hours. The part surface quality and time comparison was much better than expected. It would have been a minimum of 2 days just to make fixtures to machine these parts on a 3-axis machine."

     

    Quality Service

    Beyond the technology, beyond the equipment, Ferriero says he continues to invest in Hurco machining centers because of the high quality service he gets from Hurco and Hurco’s distributor, Brooks Associates. Says Ferriero, “The service we get from Hurco and Brooks is second to none. They listen and they are responsive.  They understand that your machines are your business.”

     

    Click this link to read the article about PlasTech that appeared in Manufacturing News.




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    Injection Mold - Hurco Eases Moldmaker's Transition to 5-Axis

    ​During the last 30 years, Injection Mold, Inc. (North Vernon, Indiana) has grown from a small garage shop dedicated to producing lens molds for the autom...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Moldmaker, Conversational, Automotive, Medical


    During the last 30 years, Injection Mold, Inc. (North Vernon, Indiana) has grown from a small garage shop dedicated to producing lens molds for the automotive industry to a full-service shop that that specializes in Rapid Prototyping (RP) molds for multiple industries, such as medical, electronics, safety, baby products, appliance, and plumbing. A desire to reduce set-up times and increase accuracy led the company to upgrade from three-axis to five-axis machines.

    According to General Manager Jason Vawter, Injection Mold has a stellar reputation when it comes to speed. “Customers call us immediately when they need something quick, without even considering their other suppliers, because we are the quickest," he says.

    This need for speed led Injection Mold to consider upgrading from three-axis to five-axis technology. “A lot of our RP work involves multiple setups on three-axis machines, and with the short deliveries we do, we needed to find a way to speed up our times,” Vawter explains. “Using five-axis technology would allow us to eliminate a lot of set-ups.”

    Vawter looked at a number of different machines, but all roads led to Hurco. “One of the reasons we went with Hurco is that they are right down the road from us,” he says. “We also owned Hurcos in the past and have been very happy with them. We found that the VMX30U was exactly what we were looking for.”
     
    Hurco decided to make 5-Axis a priority 10 years ago and has dedicated resources to the development of features that make the transition easy for 3-axis shops. Hurco even started a website devoted to five-axis education (www.FiveAxisMachining.com) that includes a dedicated telephone number and email that goes directly to Hurco Applications Engineers with expertise in 5-axis/5-sided. The VMX30U that Injection Mold purchased is one of 11 Hurco 5-Axis machining centers that are the result of Hurco’s focus on 5-axis.

    While the transition from 3-axis machining to 5-axis can be intimidating, most machinists grasp the concept fairly quickly and continue to realize additional benefits the more they use the machine. “Five-axis was a brand new area for us,” Vawter recalls. “Since we have always had three-axis, we grew accustomed to working in three planes. Then, all of a sudden, there were five.” While he says it took the employees several months to get completely comfortable with the machine, Hurco was always readily available to field questions.

    Multiple Advantages
    Injection Mold bought the machine solely for the purpose of eliminating multiple set-ups, but Vawter notes the more they use the VMX30U, the more they find they can do with it. “For example, we had some slides (multicavity tool with multiple slides per cavity) and they have angled holes through them on 20 degrees,” he elaborates. “There’s a 25-degree angle on the back with tapped holes. To machine these in the past, we would have one set-up for each operation on a 3-axis mill and it would have taken probably five set-ups with an hour to an hour-and-a-half on each block. When we do it on the VMX30U, it is one set-up and 20 minutes in each piece.”


    Another payoff is higher accuracy. “Each time you have to take the piece out of the machine to put in another setup,  you take a chance of everything not blending out,” he explains. “Now we just pick it up one time and we will cut from the top and the machine will rotate and cut the piece from the side—so accuracy is better. We maintain .005 micron accuracy on our work.”
    Vawter is very pleased with the VMX30U. “Once we made the leap, we continue to find more benefits—things we didn’t even consider are now possible. We have had it a little over a year and we feel like we are just starting to scratch the surface of what we can utilize it for. We will definitely consider another five-axis purchase by year’s end.”

    Injection Mold, Inc. / (812) 346-7002
    inject@tls.net / injectiomoldinc.com

     

    Click this link to read the article about Injection Mold as it appeared in MoldMaking Technology Magazine



  • http://www.hurco.com/en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/testimonials/Shane%20at%20DRR.jpg

    Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chooses Hurco for Machine Shop

    ​"The Hurco control makes it easy to get the part from my head to the control.”     Shane Sievers, Lead Machinist, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Ind...Read moreTags: Mill Turn, Lathe, 5-Axis, Conversational, Motorsports

    ​"The Hurco control makes it easy to get the part from my head to the control.    

    Shane Sievers, Lead Machinist, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Indianapolis, USA

    In racing, there are millions of things that happen before the driver even gets in the car that make a race team more competitive. As Dreyer & Reinbold Racing geared up for the 2011 season, they looked to their machine shop for a competitive edge. The Hurco 5-axis VMX42SR and mill-turn TMX8MYS were installed at their 35,000 square foot facility in Indianapolis in March of 2011.


    “We never know what’s coming next....which is a lot like a job shop environment,” says Shane Sievers, the lead machinist at DRR. Sievers started machining back in the days of punch tape and has run numerous brands of CNC machines. He had always run G-code until Hurco.


    I truly love these machines. Being able to program at the machine is my favorite thing. With the VMX42SR, I can do 5-axis [5-sided] work without having to use the CAM system or G-code. Transform Plane is the feature that makes it easy,” says Sievers.


    Another reason the Hurco CNC machines are perfect for the race team’s shop is the ability to minimize setup time.  “50 parts is a big run for us so it’s important to have a machine that reduces setup time,” says Sievers. The 5-sided process on the VMX42SR, Sievers eliminates three setups on just one part, which saves him at least 30 minutes per part.


    “In a lot of ways, we’re like a prototype shop. I’ll get a call when the team is on the race track and they’ll say they need a new part tomorrow morning. Sometimes I have a print. Sometimes I sketch it out on a  piece of paper. The Hurco control makes it easy to get the part from my head to the control. That’s what I love about being a machinist for an IndyCar team. No day is ever the same. And our Hurcos are made to handle that kind of quick turnaround and the need for constant flexibility.” Even though Sievers says he loves both the VMX42SR and TMX8MYS, he does have a favorite that he thinks might surprise some people. 


    “If they made me choose, I would choose the TMX8MYS lathe with live tooling. This last software upgrade has been a game changer on the lathe. The verification graphics are phenomenal and the control just makes everything so easy.“

     ​

     

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    A & G Precision - The Profitability of 5-Axis

    Read how this sub-contractor reduced machining time from 60 minutes to 8 minutes by switching from 3-axis to 5-axis.  The installation of two new Hurco m...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, NC, Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace, Defense, Motorsports, Energy Sector

    Read how this sub-contractor reduced machining time from 60 minutes to 8 minutes by switching from 3-axis to 5-axis. 

    The installation of two new Hurco machining centres has allowed Lancashire subcontractor, A&G Precision, to attract more work and produce components more efficiently in fewer set-ups.


    The company is a leading producer of complex components used in key military and civil aircraft programmes.  It is also active in other sectors, principally defence, marine, petrochemical, motorsport, rail and pharmaceutical engineering.In addition to batch production of high-precision components, A&G provides a range of additional services including prototyping, sub-assembly manufacture and reverse engineering.

     
    One long-running job, an aluminium part, used to be produced in three set-ups on a 3- axis machining centre at the subcontractor’s Poulton-le-Fylde works.  The   complexity of the component necessitated a lot of step-down profile generation using a ball-nose milling cutter, so overall machining time was around one hour. The same part has been re-programmed and is now completed in a single, eight-minute cycle on the company’s first 5-axis machining centre, a Hurco VMX42SR installed in mid 2008.  Not only is there a large saving in machining time, but two set-ups are eliminated as well, considerably reducing the cost of manufacture.
     
    Another component to benefit from one-hit, 5-axis, prismatic machining, in this case after a turning operation, is a steel eye bolt that previously required three separate operations on a 3-axis machining centre.  The bolt is of relatively simple design, so there is little difference in overall machining time, but two set-ups are saved.

    Michael Pinder, a director of A&G, commented, “Generally, we do not reprogram existing components to run on the 5-axis Hurco unless they are ongoing jobs and savings are significant.  However, the availability of the machine has changed the way we approach the machining of new components.“In the first year after we started operating the VMX42SR, we produced 73 different parts on it in titanium, aluminium and various steels including stainless.  A proportion of those contracts we previously would not have won, as the prices for producing them conventionally would not have been competitive.” He went on to explain that the machine was not purchased in anticipation of receiving new contract, but was bought on spec after a number of customers repeatedly offered A&G 5-axis work that it could not fulfil.      
     
    Several machines were shortlisted and reviewed at MACH 2008.  One reason for choosing the Hurco was the powerful 36 kW / 12,000 rpm spindle.  Another was the easy-to-use Ultimax twin-screen control, which includes a special version of the proprietary WinMax software specifically designed to simplify programming of complex, multi-sided parts.

    A further significant factor in the purchasing decision was the swivelling head design with horizontal rotary table, which Mr Pinder says offers a larger working envelope than the more usual configurations based on a vertical spindle and two-axis, trunnion-mounted table.  In some instances, components are set up in the space at the side of the rotary table on the VMX42SR for second-operation work to be carried out.

    At the end of 2008, A&G installed a second Hurco machining centre, this time a 3-axis VMX60t with two-metre capacity in X.  It was in response to an approach from an existing customer that wanted some ribs machined, knowing that the subcontractor had the necessary ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 approvals.

    The rib contract was limited, but Mr Pinder found that once the machine was installed, its existence on the shop floor created work as soon as customers heard that the facility was available.  A couple of dozen different jobs approaching the machine’s capacity have already been won as a result. Additionally, several smaller jobs can be fixtured in separate vices on the table to meet demand when the smaller machines are  working flat out, so very little time is wasted. 

    Programming of the Hurco machines is carried out either at a PC in the office running WinMax software or on the shop floor at the Ultimax control.  In the case of the 5-axis machine, most programming is off-line, as components tend to be complex.  Customers supply mainly Catia models that are converted to STEP files.  Open Mind’s hyperMILL CAM software converts these into efficient cutter paths that are post-processed and downloaded to the Ultimax control.

    The reverse is true of program preparation for the VMX60t.  So far, most has been done at the machine, owing to the simpler nature of the work, except for the ribs.  Some of the shop floor staff had already used Ultimax at previous companies, so were familiar with its strengths.

    Continued Mr Pinder, “The conversational control is the easiest to use of all our CNC systems and is practically foolproof.  The operator simply follows instructions on the touch screen, working his way down, filling in the boxes.
     
    “At any point, pressing the ‘draw’ button produces a component graphic on the second screen that shows exactly where he has reached in the program.  My brother, Jordan, who is an apprentice here, learnt the system very quickly and is now able to program quite complicated jobs.“We do a lot of prototype work here as well as one- and two-offs.  Typical batch size is 10-off.  So speed of programming is essential to keep production costs down.”

    A&G’s purchase of the two Hurco machines is part of an expansion programme over the past 18 months that has seen more than £1 million spent on plant acquisition and buying, extending and refurbishing its previously rented Poulton-le-Fylde premises, a Grade 2-listed corn mill. 

    The 38-strong, £3 million-turnover business has become an integral part of the North West of England’s regional aerospace supply chain.  It is still a family-owned company, established in 1989 by the current managing director, Arthur Pinder, and another son, Scott.

     

     

     

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    Brunswick Tooling Ltd - Benefits of a 5-Axis Machining Centre

    ​There are a number of purpose-built 5-axis / 5-sided machining centre designs on the market, including types with a rotary table and either a trunnion su...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Mill Turn, Automotive, Aerospace

    ​There are a number of purpose-built 5-axis / 5-sided machining centre designs on the market, including types with a rotary table and either a trunnion support or a swivelling B-axis head to provide the fifth CNC axis. A number of companies including Hurco supply such machines, but neither configuration suited Brunswick Tooling, Brighouse, a manufacturer of reamers and special cutting tools, both solid carbide and indexable-insert.

    Instead, it asked Hurco to supply an alternative 5-axis configuration based on a 3-axis VMX30m machining centre fitted with a 2-axis NC tilting rotary table. Many regard such a solution as inferior to a custom-made 5-axis machine, sometimes referring disparagingly to a lack of rigidity with 'bolt-on attachments'. However, for producing Brunswick Tooling's products, which are essentially rotational components, the arrangement has proved to be optimal.

    The rigidity issue was tackled at the outset by selection of a Kitagawa TT182 hydraulic, 2-axis table with -35 / +110 tilt angle and a 360-degree table rotation. According to Brunswick Tooling's managing director, Paul Briggs, the attachment is so robust that machining performance is just as good as that of purpose-built, 5-axis machines.
     
    Indexing accuracies of 20 and 60 seconds of arc respectively for table rotation and tilt, with 4 seconds of arc repeatability, ensure top precision metalcutting when combined with Hurco's ± 0.005 mm linear positioning accuracy and ± 0.0025 mm repeatability.  The real advantage of the set-up is that Brunswick Tooling is able to clamp the rotary table in its vertical position and fit a tailstock to the left hand side of the machine bed. In this way, the tools it manufactures can be positioned between centres and clamped securely for prismatic machining operations to be carried out, such as milling of indexable insert pockets.
     
    The first Hurco machine installed, in March 2010, has been operated in this mode for a large part of the time. However, for certain jobs the tailstock is removed and the Kitagawa table is inclined upwards to position the component at a compound angle for 3-axis machining of complex features on some tooling products. Both rotary axes are currently used in this way, ie indexed and clamped, but they could be interpolated with the linear axes in future, if desired, as the Hurco Max CNC system is able to control full 5-axis cycles.
      
    It was the flexibility of being able to use the machine either in turn-mill mode or as a 5-sided or 5-axis machining centre that convinced Mr Briggs to choose the Hurco / Kitagawa option. The merits of the decision were underlined by the purchase of a second, identically equipped VMX30m one year after the first. Even the tools in the magazines are identical. Programs are stored on the factory server, allowing any job to be downloaded to, and produced on, either Hurco machine, with certainty that the most up-to-date cutting cycle is being used.
     
    Mr Briggs said that there is a particular functionality within Hurco's WinMax conversational programming software that lends itself well to 5-sided machining applications, during which the part is tilted upwards at an angle. It is called 'transform plane' and is used in a rotary program to re-establish part zero to any plane for non-rotary 3-axis milling or drilling. This facilitates machining of repeating features on several sides of a component, as the tool automatically moves so that it is always perpendicular to the transformed plane.
     
    "Essentially, whatever angle the part is at in one or two rotary planes, the Hurco software always knows where the datum is, which has allowed us to increase productivity on complex, high added value products," confirmed Mr Briggs.
    His lead machine tool programmer, Andrew Bell, also commented on the software: "With WinMax, it is easy to program a part without any need for an expensive 5-axis CAM system.
       
    "We a take the DXF file from the 3D model we create in Autodesk Inventor and load it directly into WinMax. The data is then used to generate the cutter paths using conversational routines, quickly and accurately, without the risk of introducing G-code errors.  "The software is years ahead of its time and always has been, even the earlier, non-Windows version, Ultimax."
     
    Mr Bell, who uses WinMax software daily, also likes the way a graphic of the part being programmed is generated concurrently in background. He said it allows any potential mistakes in component geometry to be spotted quickly, this being especially useful when programming a cylindrical part, which is difficult to visualise from a 2D drawing.
     
    Brunswick Tooling manufactures reamers in batches of up to 300-off for world markets, but its special cutting tools are normally produced in ones and twos, for which WinMax software is ideal. Often, the company is asked by firms to design and produce a tool from scratch from a CAD drawing of the end component.
     
    Customers include Ford, JCB, Airbus, AgustaWestland and BAE Systems, from which it recently received the Chairman's Silver Award for reducing lead-time for a Joint Strike Fighter titanium machining operation from three days to five minutes.
       
    Mr Briggs concluded, "The Hurco machines are good value for money and have a large working area for the factory space they take up.  "Their accuracy is fantastic – we easily hold 50 microns on indexable insert pocket dimensions and position, despite sometimes machining a long component held at one end.  "We still operate a number of universal, 4-axis toolroom machines, which have a manually tilting table and require longhand G-code programming. They will continue to have their place for manufacturing reamers and some repeat special tools.
     
    "But for particularly complex tooling designs, which are becoming more and more frequent, the Hurco / Kitagawa configuration is the future for our business and the avoidance of expenditure on CAM software, and an operator to use it, is an added bonus."

     

     

     

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    Florida Precision - Part Accuracy and Repeatability.

    ​“I have built my business by attracting top-notch machinists and then giving them the tools to put their talents to work. I have found that the capabilit...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, 3-Axis Mill, Conversational

    ​“I have built my business by attracting top-notch machinists and then giving them the tools to put their talents to work. I have found that the capabilities of Hurco machining centers to do complex, high accuracy work is perfect for my operation.”

    – Mike Vella

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

     

    Hurco’s machining centers provide precisely what’s needed
    The five Hurco machines that Florida Precision owns have proved invaluable. The machinists found that the Hurco machines, equipped with the UltiMax dual-screen control, can solve virtually every machining problem they encounter. There is no need for off-line programming that slows operations.
     
    The machinist is able to determine the best way to machine the part and then uses Hurco’s control to program it. This “multiplication of skills” is the key to growth at Florida Precision. Jobs are turned around fast and competitively. They have become a key source for many parts that are simply too complex for the average shop to tackle.
     
    Florida Precision, as its name implies, handles tough machining problems. As part complexity continues to grow, so does the requirement for precision. More and more parts require machined tolerances measured not in thousandths, or even half thousandths, but in ten thousandths of an inch (0.0001) or 0.0025 mm. Florida Precision’s latest Hurco VMX 24 vertical machining centers are capable of responding to inputs as small as 0.0001". Using high-resolution encoders, Florida Precision mapped ball screws and high speed processing technology; and the newest Hurco machines are achieving the most demanding levels of part accuracy and repeatability. It has become a key aspect of the operation.
     
    Summary

    As part complexity grows, Mike can see the need for 5-axis machines to efficiently produce multi-sided parts in one setup. Hurco’s control is 5-axis capable and its vertical machining centers can be equipped with a variety of precision tables. 
       

    If a fully integrated solution is required, Hurco has high performance vertical machines with an integral trunion table, which is perfect for processing complex high-precision work in one set-up.

     

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    Quadscot Precision Engineers - Oil and Gas Specialist Moves into 5-Axis Machining

    ​With a BP quality award hanging on its office wall alongside a platinum  award from Cameron Subsea Systems confirming 24 consecutive months' delivery of ...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, 3-Axis Mill, Energy Sector

    ​With a BP quality award hanging on its office wall alongside a platinum  award from Cameron Subsea Systems confirming 24 consecutive months' delivery of zero defect products, Blantyre-based Quadscot Precision Engineers is a leading Scottish subcontractor serving the offshore oil and gas sector.

     
    For its prismatic machining requirements, until recently the company relied on 3-axis vertical machining centres (VMCs) including a Hurco VMX1 installed in 2008 and a 12-year-old VMX42 with Nikken 4th axis.  As part of an on-going investment programme in new plant, two further, larger VMCs were purchased from the same supplier at the beginning of 2010. The objective was to bring the subcontractor's milling capacity more into line with its 1.5 metre by 500 mm diameter turning capability.  One of the new Hurcos, Quadscot's first 5-axis model, was a VMX60SR. It has a 1,525 x 660 x 610 mm working volume, a horizontal rotary C-axis table and a ± 92 degree B-axis head that allows the 36 kW, 40-taper spindle to be positioned within a program anywhere between vertical and horizontal. Renishaw tool and part probing have been fitted to speed set-ups.

    Not only does the machine meet the size requirement stipulated by production director, Jim Smith, but it also allows multi-sided parts and those of complex geometry to be produced more accurately and cost-effectively.  Mr Smith commented, "Some components that previously needed three separate set-ups for milling operations can be produced in one hit on the VMX60SR.
     
    "The faster cycles and reduced handling result in production cost savings of around 30 per cent for some bigger parts. Our customers therefore benefit from more competitive prices and faster turnaround.  "Moreover, tolerances of typically ± 25 microns are easier to hold when not repeatedly refixturing heavy components in different axes; and fixture costs are also reduced.
     
    The other new Hurco machining centre is a VMX50-50t 4-axis model with a 22 kW / 8,000 rpm / 353 Nm CAT50 spindle, the most powerful that the manufacturer offers in its VMX range. The machine also has large axis travels of 1,270 x 660 x 610 mm and was supplied with 3D mould software within the Hurco WinMax programming suite running in the proprietary twin-screen control system.
     
    Jim Smith's partner, sales director Billy Hepburn, said, "A lot of our customers use high performance materials such as Super Duplex, Inconel and Toughmet, which are challenging to machine.  "Having plant like the 50-50t allows us to be more cost-effective when machining tough and exotic metals. The accuracy is there too – we frequently mill parts using 4-axis simultaneous movements to 25 microns tolerance."
     
    The 44-employee subcontractor was set up 22 years ago by a team of skilled engineers and toolmakers with a wealth of experience in precision CNC subcontract machining. Production of subsea Christmas tree parts, down-hole tools and wellhead equipment are particular specialisms. A highly focussed approach to customer service has been fundamental to the development of the company, along with careful selection and purchase of CNC milling and turning machines. Today, it operates from an 8,500 sq. ft. factory on the Blantyre Industrial Estate, a few miles south-east of Glasgow. 
     
    The company is a long-time user of Hurco equipment. Indeed, the first VMC it bought back in 1990 was one of the supplier's KM3P knee mills with Ultimax II twin-screen CNC. Even in those days, the control and programming software was well ahead of its time, allowing Quadscot's machine operators to program parts easily without needing to know or even learn G-codes. Any programming mistakes were picked up from the graphic screen before putting tool to metal.
     
    Jim Smith added, "We have stayed with Hurco equipment over the years largely because of the flexibility of the control system, which has always been much faster than others on the market. That is important to us, as all of our programming is done on the shop floor.  "We looked at a number of 5-axis machines before buying the VMX60SR and even considered a horizontal-spindle, twin-pallet machining centre at one point.  "However, we opted again for the Hurcos due to the combination of the user-friendly control and rigidity of construction, plus the versatility and robustness of the B-axis head design in the case of the 5-axis machine."

     

     

     

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    RST Engineering Ltd - Cycle Times Reduced by Two-Thirds

    ​Founded in 1987 as a mouldmaker and subcontract machinist specialising in wire and spark erosion and manual milling, RST Engineering, Leighton Buzzard, i...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Moldmaker, Motorsports, Medical, Aerospace, 3-Axis Mill

    ​Founded in 1987 as a mouldmaker and subcontract machinist specialising in wire and spark erosion and manual milling, RST Engineering, Leighton Buzzard, installed a Hurco Hawk 30 CNC mill in 1998 to speed electrode production and other prismatic machining jobs.
     
    It was not until 2007 that the company traded in the Hawk for a 3-axis Hurco VM2 vertical machining centre, taking advantage of automatic tool change to fulfill contracts more economically for increasingly complex aerospace, medical and motorsport components.  Two years later, owner Jason Taylor and his team progressed to 5-axis machining on a Hurco VMX30U machining centre, with very positive results.  It was bought initially to reduce production costs when the manufacture of prototype housings for aircraft on the VM2 moved to large batch runs.


    The circuit board housings are 200 mm square and have to be machined from aluminium billets on six sides to dimensional tolerances within 15 microns.  In the process, over 90 per cent of the material is removed.
     
    When the part was milled on the 3-axis machine, five sides were completed in eight to 10 hours, including repeated manual refixturing.  The part is now machined in around three hours on the 5-axis Hurco.  As only one additional set-up is needed for machining the sixth face, the component is produced in just two milling operations followed by sparking.

    The steel component in the foreground is a fixture that was machined on the VM2 to secure ball bearings for blind holes to be sparked. Commented Mr Taylor, “A really useful feature of the 5-axis VMX is that the aircraft housing and similar, relatively simple cube-type parts can be programmed at the machine on Hurco’s twin-screen Ultimax control.
     
    “This takes a fraction of the time that would be needed on our Vero VISI 3D CAD/CAM system, which is freed for more complex programming.  “A further benefit is that the setter-operator does not have to walk back to the office to edit a program to adjust a tool, for example – it can be easily done on the shop floor using the control’s WinMax software.   
      
    ”He is particularly impressed with the NC-Merge feature within WinMax, which allows complex parts of a program to be generated off-line using a CAD/CAM system and imported into the Ultimax control for the remainder to be completed, taking advantage of the best of both systems.
     
    There are occasions when this strategy allows a more efficient program to be written than would be possible using off-line CAD/CAM alone.  One recent example was a 3D part that needed holes drilled in it after rotation.  They would have had to be drilled straight to depth, whereas pecking cycles were easily added in WinMax.
     
    Other 5-axis jobs machined on the VMX30U include plastic clock parts and a wrist support plate in titanium, both of which required fully interpolative 5-axis machining.  Mr Taylor suggests that while this is useful, allowing RST to take on extra work that it could not have tackled before, the main benefit of 5-axis is to reduce set-ups when machining components on five or six sides.
     
    “Every time you want to mill a sharp corner in a pocket to replace a radius, or drill a hole at a compound angle, it would involve another set-up,” he said.  “This not only adds production cost and risks introducing accumulative errors, but is monotonous for our operators if there are, say, 50- or 100-off to produce.
     
    Automatic 5-axis positioning in-cycle avoids the potential problem of an operator’s attention wandering and the consequent risk of scrapped parts.”
     
    A good example of a contract where 5-axis benefits are considerable is the production of components for high-voltage electrical switchgear.  They were previously produced in three operations but are now machined in one hit on the VMX30U.  In August 2010, 25-off of each of 10 varieties were produced and the customer wants a further 175-off.  That will be 4,000 set-ups saved.
     
    In RST’s case, with its EDM specialism, the 5-axis Hurco machine is assisting in the production of copper electrodes, which are also becoming more complex.  Accuracy of ± 6 microns is easily held on the VMX30U, which Mr Taylor describes as rigid, reliable and repeatable.
     
    In summary, he used the familiar expression: ‘how did we do without 5-axis machining before’.  In his opinion, it is becoming essential to compete for the production of all but the simplest of parts.  These tend to be manufactured overseas now unless volumes are low, in which case there is little money to be made anyway.
     
    He finds that designers these days are constantly using the power of their modern CAD/CAM systems to push the barriers of component complexity, which again dictates a move to 5-axis machining.

     

    Mr Taylor also said that people using 3-axis machining centres should not be put off by thinking that 5-axis machining is too complex.  It took only two days’ training to become conversant with programming 5-sided milling and drilling routines on the Ultimax control.
     
     
     

     

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    BAW Precision Engineering Ltd - Hurco Helps BAW Hit Niche Markets

    ​When BAW Precision Engineering Ltd emerged from the global downturn under new ownership in July 2010, the primary aim for the new directors of the Swanse...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Custom Machinery, Medical, Aerospace, Automotive, Energy Sector, Conversational

    ​When BAW Precision Engineering Ltd emerged from the global downturn under new ownership in July 2010, the primary aim for the new directors of the Swansea Valley company was to build the order book and re-establish the subcontractors’ prestigious reputation.

     
    The re-emergence of one of Wales leading subcontractors commenced less than a year ago with the introduction of new management, employee training and a lean manufacturing philosophy. These building blocks have been supported with new sales and marketing structure that can now promote the new capabilities provided by the subcontractor’s latest asset, a new 5-axis machining centre from Hurco.
     
    Already boasting marquee customers such as Biomet, The Royal Mint, Honda, Continental Teves, Walkers Foods, Borg Warner and Bosch to name a few, the diverse customer base sees BAW work in the medical, aerospace, automotive, power generation and hydraulic sectors among others. This extensive subcontract expertise is supplemented by an internal department that boasts one of the UK’s few specialist concept to component automation machinery builders. 
       
    With both departments increasingly winning new business, a new machining centre was a necessity. As BAW Precision’s Operations Manager, Mr Andrew Hoseasons comments: “The new ownership and internal developments at BAW has delivered an influx of new business and despite already having 3+2 axis set-ups on our existing machines, we acknowledged that we needed full simultaneous 5-axis capability to drive the company forward. We have identified a need in the marketplace and the new Hurco will be our first step to filling this gap in the market.”
     
    When Pontardawe based BAW entered the market for a new 5-axis CNC machining centre, the fact that the company already has nine Hurco machining centres purchased over a period of 20 years, influenced the decision. As Mr Hoseasons continues: “Despite having an excellent working relationship with Hurco, we still investigated the marketplace to review and consider alternative suppliers. However, we quickly found that the Hurco VMX30U was the most suitable machine for the type of parts we produce. Additionally, our experience informed us that Hurco machines offer exceptional reliability and user friendliness that is matched by excellent performance and productivity levels.”
      
    Emphasising such points, Mr Richard Gunn, Group Engineering Development Manager of RG Tooling, BAW’s development arm, is keen to highlight the immediate impact of the Hurco VMX30U with its integrated Trunnion table. “At present we are machining toolholders for sister company Eurogrind, a manufacturer of standard and bespoke milling and turning toolholders. The simultaneous 5-axis machining has already slashed production times. Previously, our square shank toolholders underwent three individual set-ups that took 10 minutes each. Added to the set-up times were three machining cycles of 15 minutes each, resulting in a complete part time of 75minutes per toolholder. Now, the new VMX30U only requires one ten minute set-up and one 15 minute machining cycle.”
     
    As one of the first jobs on the new Hurco, BAW are delighted with a time saving of 50 minutes. The company initially expected the VMX30U to deliver productivity gains of 25%; however this one job has delivered a saving that has surpassed 60%. This is credit to the reduced set-ups, efficient 5-axis tool paths and higher speed and feed rate capabilities. To put the saving in perspective, BAW machines the toolholders in batches from 10 to 30 with an annual production exceeding 500 units.
     
    Whilst the production times are being cut, Mr Gunn is keen to emphasise the benefit of the new Ultimax control system on the new acquisition, stating: “We have always found the Hurco control system easy to use, but the latest version takes user friendliness a step further. Each function box offers a foot note prompt that tells the operator exactly what to do, making errors difficult to make. From a productivity standpoint, we specified the twin-screen control. This enables us to machine a part with the existing program running on one screen whilst the operator can simultaneously program the next part on the second screen. As the majority of jobs passing through the machine will be small batches of 1 to 10-offs, this will drastically reduce programming times and improve operator productivity, especially as 90% of jobs are programmed on the shop floor.”
      
    “Other features on the Hurco Ultimax control that already benefit us, is the ‘surface finish feature’ that improves cycle times by automatically increasing or reducing speeds and feeds according to the cycle. Additionally, the new control has a transfer plane command that takes the trigonometry calculations out of any programming. It also enables us to merge NC code with intuitive 5-sided conversational programming, further simplifying and speeding up the programming process,” continues Mr Gunn. 
     
    One of the niche markets BAW is targeting is the oil & gas and hydraulic valve sector. The company set this strategy in motion when specifying the VMX30U that was installed in February 2011. The trunnion table with a 420mm face plate accommodates a diverse range of chucks and is ideal for producing complex valve components. As Mr Hoseason concludes: “We identified a gap in the marketplace and acquired the ideal machine for such complex components. This acquisition has enabled BAW to expand its target markets. When we promoted our extended capabilities and new machine at the recent Southern Manufacturing Exhibition, we had a major success winning over 15 new customers and significant orders in the process. Looking to the future, we will be implementing AS: 9100 to get a stronger foothold in the aerospace market. We will also be adding to our plant list – and with immediate impact of the Hurco VMX30U, there is little doubt we will be specifying Hurco machines in the future.”

     

     

     

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    Rutherford Appleton Laboratory - 5-Axis Machining of Space Obervation Instruments

    ​Parts for instrumentation used in space observation, both terrestrial and satellite-based, are machined to tight tolerances on two Hurco vertical machini...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, 5-Axis

    ​Parts for instrumentation used in space observation, both terrestrial and satellite-based, are machined to tight tolerances on two Hurco vertical machining centres (VMCs) at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), near Didcot.

     
    High accuracy is essential, as radio telescopes for which parts are being made, including the ALMA instrument in northern Chile, have to detect high frequency signals in the 95 GHz to 2.5 THz range. Wavelengths are consequently very short and sensitive to dimensional variation in sensing devices.
     
    The latest machining centre in the Millimetre Technology Group’s Precision Development Facility (PDF) within RAL Space, as the Department is known, is a 5-axis Hurco model, VM10U, which was installed in April 2011. Fitted with Renishaw tool setting, the machine was purchased jointly with another department on the RAL campus, ISIS, which conducts research into atomic scale properties of materials using a suite of neutron and muon instruments. Components required for its beamline accelerators also have to be very accurate and are made on the Hurcos.
     
    An example of RAL Space hardware machined on the 5-axis VM10U are components which when assembled form parts for the Broadband Radiometer, destined for launch into space in 2012. The component, machined in 3+2-axis mode from solid aluminium to dimensional tolerances at the micron level, has to be as light as possible. To this end, the core is removed by wire-cutting after milling to leave a 0.8 mm wall all round.
       
    Mat Beardsley, manager of the PDF, explained, "Generally, subcontractors do not like making parts such as this, as the machining strategies take a long time to develop for novel bespoke components.  "Due to the high machining accuracies associated with this type of componentry, it was difficult to find outside suppliers to take on the work, which was a driver for investing in our own 5-axis machine."
     
    Typical ISIS components produced on a Hurco 3-axis VMC, a VM30 installed in the summer of 2010, are tantalum parts for a beamline target, machined using coated solid carbide cutters to accuracies down to 10 microns.  A high surface finish is specified in readiness for when the parts are assembled using a hot isostatic pressing process. This means that a good machined finish is needed after the parts leave the VM30, which is not easy to achieve due to the material's tendency to tear. Machining strategies as well as feeds and speeds for the tooling have consequently been modified within the CAD/CAM system used in RAL Space.
     
    More complicated components for the ISIS target are put onto the 5-axis machine, such as the tantalum flange and cross flow guide that are subsequently pressed isostatically around a tungsten core. The introduction of 5-axis machining has also made huge savings in the manufacturing time of several integral parts for space flight hardware.
       
    Mr Beardsley commented, "Before investing in the Hurco machines, we had used other makes of VMC for more than 10 years and they are still in service. "When the ISIS beamline work came along, however, we needed a bigger capacity machine but we have limited floor space. So we were looking for maximum working volume in the smallest possible footprint and the Hurco VM30 was ideal in this respect [1,270 x 508 x 508 mm axis travels / 2,830 x 2,770 mm floor area].
     
    "The same goes for the VM10U, which also offers a generous machining cube for the space it occupies. So in view of our good experience with the previous 3-axis Hurco VMC, it was the logical choice when we needed a 5-axis machine."

     

     

     

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    Caragh Tool & Die - Shop Floor Programming Saves Time

    ​A steady increase in subcontract work for the medical industry coupled with the trend towards greater component complexity has prompted Caragh Tool &...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Medical

    ​A steady increase in subcontract work for the medical industry coupled with the trend towards greater component complexity has prompted Caragh Tool & Die to invest in a fifth Hurco machining centre with 5-axis capability.  Off-line programming has also been installed to simulate the proprietary Ultimax twin-screen control system fitted to all of the machines.

     

    Founded in 1982, Caragh employs 80 people at a 2,300 sq m. facility in Galway, Ireland.  It provides consultancy and product design optimisation services followed by machining of prototypes and small batches up to production volumes.  Typical components find their way into transport refrigeration systems, semiconductor manufacturing plant and gas chromatography equipment.  Materials machined include titanium, stainless steel, aluminium and a range of plastics.
     
    In 1998, a separate division called Caragh Meditech was formed to meet the highly specialised demands of the expanding medical device sector.  Now accounting for 45 per cent of turnover, its products include parts for ventilators, drug delivery systems, dental apparatus, ophthalmic and orthopedic surgical instruments, manufacturing tooling for various medical products and implantable devices such as stents.
     
    The latest machining centre, supplied through Hurco Europe's sales agent in Ireland, Michael Gannon, is a VMX30S 5-axis model fitted with twin rotary axis table, 15,000 rpm spindle and 24-station tool-changer.  Its normal mode of operation is with two linear axes and one rotary axis interpolated while the other two are fixed. 
     
    It was in the early 90s that the first Hurco was installed in the factory, a BMC30, which was chosen largely due to its twin-screen, graphics-based control system.  It lends itself to easy shop floor programming and is ideal for both experienced and less experienced operators, according to Caragh's engineering manager, Pat Ryan.
     
    He commented, "G-code programming may be better for high volume work or where the part contains complex surfaces, but for prototypes and short runs, conversational programming on the Ultimax is much quicker and more flexible for the majority of jobs. "Speed is of the essence, as set-up time is long compared with total machining time if there are only a few parts to produce, so lengthy programming procedures would reduce profitability."
     
    Shop floor programming is used for 85 per cent of jobs on the Hurco's at the Galway firm, even for producing components with complex contours.  The company's CAD/CAM system is used when complex 3D surfaces need machining and where the production of a DXF file, for download to the Ultimax control, is easier than direct conversational programming.
     
    As most of the Hurco machines and controls date back to the 90s, Caragh has opted for an Ultimax off-line programming station.  It uses the latest and most capable software that is better for tackling complicated jobs and provides more powerful 3D simulation of the cutting cycle.  Around 10 per cent of work is currently programmed off-line using the Ultimax software, and the resulting code runs on any of the machine / control combinations, even the earliest.

     

    "This backwards compatibility is one of the things we like about Hurco controls," said Mr Ryan.  "The machines have also proved to be very reliable during three-shift operation over the years."

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/Acrona1.jpg

    Acrona Engineering - The Magnificent Seven

    ​Seven vertical machining centres from the same supplier, HURCO Europe, have been installed during the past 10 years in the Witney, Oxfordshire works of A...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace, Custom Machinery, Medical

    ​Seven vertical machining centres from the same supplier, HURCO Europe, have been installed during the past 10 years in the Witney, Oxfordshire works of Acrona Engineering, including most recently a 5-axis VM10U with WinMax control purchased at the beginning of 2010.


    The investment was prompted by existing customers in the aerospace, medical and motor sport sectors in particular asking the subcontractor to manufacture more complex parts from a variety of materials.  However, the machine’s presence on the shop floor has attracted additional work from new sources as well.

    One of the first jobs onto the machine was an aluminium component for equipment designed to secure screw-on caps to the tops of drinks bottles.  Another application was one-hit 5-axis machining of cryogenic components from copper, involving positioning two of the CNC axes and interpolating the other three.  In an example of fully interpolative 5-axis machining, Acrona Engineering produced clutches from titanium billets for an F1 race car.
     
    Albert Soave, owner and managing director, commented, "We are winning more and more contracts from first-tier suppliers to the aerospace industry, which now accounts for about a quarter of our turnover.  Our plan is to move further into this type of high-added-value work, for which the 5-axis machine is ideal."
     
    A high-speed Hurco VMX42HS machining centre with 15,000 rpm spindle and a fourth axis was installed recently to fulfill a job for the brewery sector, involving the production of 1,500-off components from billets of black acetyl, 88 at a time, in two set-ups.
     
    The first operation was programmed conversationally at the HURCO control running WinMax Windows-based software.  The extra CNC axis, provided by a rotary indexer, was then used for complex profiling on the reverse of the component in a second operation that was programmed off-line on a Pathtrace CADCAM system.
     
    A high spindle speed was needed for this application not only to raise productivity but also to achieve a fine surface finish.  Normally such parts would be moulded, but in this instance the volumes were not high enough to warrant the expense of having a mould tool made.
    Another application for the same industry involved machining food-grade plastic (Nylatron) for the production of a cider and slush dispenser.  This particular application required the use of the fourth axis for complex surfacing work.
     
    A further job for the brewery sector, which should gladden the hearts of sports enthusiasts keen on a beer at half-time, was Acrona’s production from a similar plastic material of a fast-pour spout.  It is employed to dispense four pints of lager in six seconds in sports stadia across the country.
    The VMX42HS is also highly productive when machining light alloys.  For example, a part was machined at Witney from aircraft grade aluminium for Britain’s Beagle 2 Mars lander.
     
    To fulfill a contract for the pharmaceutical industry, this time from 6082 aluminium, Acrona Engineering produced a batch of feed-through tubes that deliver tablets into blister packs before they are sealed.  The component is first turned and then transferred to the fourth axis indexer on the machining centre for a spiral to be milled down part of the length.  The component’s complexity required programming to be carried out off-line, tolerances being down to ± 10 microns.

    Where many subcontractors serving the aerospace industry have moved towards HURCO’s larger capacity, gantry-type machines, Acrona has gone the other way, favouring the manufacturer’s smallest VM1 vertical machining centre with 660 x 355 x 457 mm working envelope.  One was installed in 2007 and a further model, this time with a fourth axis, was installed earlier this year.

    Continued Mr Soave, "These machines are good value for money and very compact.  Our bigger machines are more economical when producing larger parts, whereas the VM1 is ideal for machining smaller components in batches ranging from one-off to several hundreds.
     
    "Our plan is to move towards larger volumes of more sophisticated, higher value components.  Already a number of existing customers as well as some new companies have asked us to quote for this type of work."
     
    To this end, Acrona Engineering has also been strengthening its turning department and has recently installed its first sub-spindle lathe with Y and C axes.  It brings to seven the number of turning machines on site.
     
    In conclusion, Mr Soave highlights the long-term accuracy of HURCO machining centres, stating that his first three machines, installed a decade ago, are still in daily use and reliably holding tolerances as tight as 10 microns.

     

     

     

  • 5-Axis CNC - Swivel Head

    NuCon - Rigid Machine + Phenomenal Service Network

    The people at NuCon Corporation are experts when it comes to impellers. More specifically, they are experts in the manufacturing of radial and axial compr...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, NC, Great Service, Energy Sector, Aerospace

    The people at NuCon Corporation are experts when it comes to impellers. More specifically, they are experts in the manufacturing of radial and axial compressors, pumps and turbines, shrouded impellers, expanders, diffusers, and jet engine cases. They’re also experts in 5-axis machining processes used to manufacture those impellers and the aforementioned parts.


    Since 1973, NuCon Corporation has used their proprietary Impeller Machining System to machine thousands of configurations as small as 5 mm in diameter up to 73 inches in diameter. The majority of their products are used for marine propulsion and pumps, industrial compressors, and power generation, but they also machine parts for aircraft and rocket engines. NuCon primarily machines stainless steel, but they have experience machining a variety of materials including aluminum, titanium, exotics, and plastics. They can do any blade configuration a customer needs including straight line element, arbitrary blade shape, blisk, an open or shrouded impeller, and an open or closed turbine. Different blade shapes within a single stator/rotor can be accommodated.


    NuCon primarily relies on 15 vintage Sundstrand 5-axis machining centers at their 35,000-square-foot facility in Livonia, Michigan to manufacture these complex blade configurations for customers around the world. In fact, there are only a handful of companies capable of serving this niche market.  The NuCon crew has upgraded, retrofitted, and refurbished the massive Sundstrand machining centers so they can handle large parts that vary in complexity and weight, with some blanks weighing as much as 11 tons.


    Co-owner David Bernhardt says he started shopping for a smaller 5-axis machining center because it didn’t make sense to tie up a large Sundstrand for smaller parts that were up to 22 inches in diameter. While he considered other brands of 5-axis machines, Bernhardt says a demonstration at Hurco’s technology center in Indianapolis sealed the deal and NuCon purchased two VMX42SR machines. “The VMX42SR’s table had the capacity to handle the weight of stainless steel, which is important because that’s the material we use the most,” explains Bernhardt.  The VMX42SR’s C-Axis table with a 24-inch diameter can handle up to 1,100 lbs and the machining center is designed with a B-axis swivel head and C-axis rotary table that lets the tool access hard to reach areas faster. The tilting head design is perfect for the swept surfaces and complex contours NuCon routinely machines. Other advantages of the Hurco VMX42SR include 600-block look ahead, up to 600 ipm programmable feed rate, and processing speed up to 2,277 bps.


    Hurco was especially honored that NuCon chose Hurco for its 5-axis machining needs of smaller parts considering the collective expertise of the owners and the exacting standards they demand. NuCon owners David Bernhardt and David Stormont know machine tools inside and out: literally. They were machine tool designers in the 60s at the Buhr Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a company well known for developing machine tools designed specifically for the automotive industry.  Because of the collective expertise of Bernhardt and Stormont, NuCon has successfully developed their proprietary Impellar Manufacturing Software, designed the spindle head for their rotary head machines, and created their own PC-based controllers. They have achieved accreditation for numerous quality programs and implemented verification and inspection programs throughout their operation.

    Bernhardt says he is enamored with the motion control on the Hurco and both VMX42SRs have performed perfectly. Beyond the machine, Bernhardt says the phenomenal service network Hurco has established is probably the best he’s seen in his career. “It’s really something you should promote. The knowledge and customer support is outstanding. I even sold a machine to a fellow down the road. He asked me about our Hurcos and I told him about the phenomenal service network you have and the outstanding performance of our machines. This is still an industry that relies on word-of-mouth, which means a company’s reputation for how they treat customers after they have bought the machine is important,” explains Bernhardt.

     

    While Hurco machine tools are often known for their intuitive conversational programming, NuCon uses the NC side of the control exclusively. The integrated Hurco control powered by WinMax includes both conversational and NC programming methods with ISNC and NC Productivity Packages available for enhanced performance. With an enhanced NC interpreter, the recently released WinMax version 8 (WinMax8) is compatible with more CAD/CAM programs than ever. Other additions to the NC side of the control include Tool Review, Transform Plane, Rotary Tangential Velocity Control, Automatic Safe Repositioning, Recovery Restart, and Cylindrical Wrap.

    “It really says a lot for us to go to another machine with an alien control when all of the Sundstrands and turning systems we have use the control system we developed. The integration has been seamless and all of the operators picked up the Hurco control quickly,” says Bernhardt.

    NuCon also invests in other technology to enhance efficiency, minimize waste, and maintain outstanding quality. Bernhardt says software packages from OpenMind and Predator are useful to his operation because they analyze part programs to achieve maximum machining efficiency. 


    Bernhardt attributes his company’s success to great customers, great employees, and the drive to continually find ways to increase efficiency while maintaining the highest quality. “The core of our manufacturing philosophy at NuCon has always been to satisfy our customers. The job isn’t finished until the customer requirements are met. We believe in continual process improvement. You always need to look for ways to work smarter even while you’re working harder,” says Bernhardt.


    For NuCon, purchasing the Hurco VMX42SRs helped the company work smarter for smaller 5-axis parts.

    NuCon
    34100 Industrial Road
    Livonia, MI 48150
    734.525.0770
    www.nuconcorp.com

    Hurco Companies, Inc.
    One Technology Way
    Indianapolis, IN 46268
    800.634.2416
    www.hurco.com

  • EMM Machine Shop

    EMM Precision - Hurco 5-Axis: "Everybody Loves It"

    Because of Hurco’s track record of developing technology that increases productivity and for manufacturing rigid machines that last, EMM Precision purchas...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Conversational, Aerospace, Defense

    Because of Hurco’s track record of developing technology that increases productivity and for manufacturing rigid machines that last, EMM Precision purchased a Hurco 5-axis VM10U. Keith Dalpe, vice president, says the machine was purchased specifically for a new contract that EMM Precision won for a military part. Regarding the VM10U 5-axis machining center, Keith says, “Everybody loves it. It’s just unbelievable what this machine does.

    “With the VM10U, we went from 9 operations to 2 on this military part. We save 40 minutes per piece in cycle time alone and easily save an hour and 10 minutes total. Maybe even more important to our bottom line is the fact that the operator is running two other machines while the VM10U is making chips,” Keith Dalpe, VP, EMM Precision, Conway NH.
    The learning curve on the 5-axis VM10U proved to be just as minimal as the other Hurco machines EMM Precision has (1 VMX60- 3-axis machining center; 3 VM10 3-axis machining centers; 1 VM10P 3-axis production machining center, and 1 TMM8 multi-tasking lathe with live tooling).
    “We had a job with multiple sides and our operator was already running the job on the VM10U when the trainer came for the training session. We do the entire job with conversational on the control right at the machine,” says Keith.
    “Another advantage when you go from doing a part on a 3-axis machine to 5-axis is that you have less handling and you lessen the opportunity for error. The VM10U is right on the money. It was well worth the investment and the accuracy is phenomenal,” continues Keith, adding that the Hurco machine tools are built to withstand the stress EMM Precision puts on them with so many jobs to run.
    “We put these Hurcos through the paces. They’re tooled to the max and we don’t baby them. We run the VM10U 24/7,” says Keith.

     

  • Parts Board

    Die Tron - Cut Costly, Lengthy Set-up Times

    ​“To stay competitive in the stamping die business, we had to address setup time on multi-sided parts. Our new Hurco VTXU has slashed overall processing t...Read moreTags: 5-Axis

    “To stay competitive in the stamping die business, we had to address setup time on multi-sided parts. Our new Hurco VTXU has slashed overall processing time on many parts by 70%. Not only that but it can cut! I run out of tool before I ran out of machine.”

    -Dave W. Rose, Vice President

     

     

    Die Tron, Inc., is a high-end die maker in the Grand Rapids area specializing in progressive
    form and stamping dies for the automotive industry. Die Tron has been in business for 21 years, currently employing over 50 people and operating two shifts. Survival in the die industry is
    challenging with increased offshore competition and the automotive industry’s reduction in tooling. In order to stay competitive, Die Tron has acquired the right machine tools to shorten lead times and increase productivity.

    Hurco Advantage

    Die Tron recently added a Hurco VMX50 to handle 2D work, detailing and additional 3D machining. Die Tron’s die sets typically use fairly large pieces of D2 tool steel; so heavy cuts are the norm. More recently, Dave Rose, Vice President of Die Tron, realized that he needed to do something about costly, lengthy set-up times for complex, multi-sided parts. Their existing machines were capable of producing desirable tooling for the automotive industry, but lead times were becoming more and more critical. Mr. Rose needed an advantage. After careful consideration of all the potential solutions, he made the decision to purchase a Hurco VTXU five-axis machining center.

    Mr. Rose’s first thought was to look at a VMC with an added compound table. This solution became expensive when the table size needed to process his parts was matched to a VMC of sufficient size to hold the table. Moreover, if he purchased a VMC the size of his existing
    VMX50, the part capacity of the table would actually be smaller than the VTXU that was ultimately purchased. Not only could the VTXU handle his multi-sided needs, it was also a cost
    effective solution. Lead times could be significantly reduced while maintaining throughput and
    surface finish.

    Summary

    Moreover, the ability to import
    DXF files directly to the control made the VTXU an obvious choice. Mr. Rose already knew that his operators could program the new machines, but the added fact that he knew he could rely on them was also a contributing factor. The person who now operates the VTXU at Die Tron has been using the existing Hurco VMCs, so learning to program and operate the new machine was very straight forward. The VTXU has already made a significant impact on set-up and machining times at Die Tron. About 30% of the die sections produced by Die Tron and their competitors require some form of off angle work. Using
    conventional sine plate setups, these parts could easily make up 50-60% of the total machining time for a complex die set. With the 5-axis
    VTXU, setup times are significantly reduced. In many cases, setup times are reduced by actual calendar days.

     

  • Gregor Technologies Machine Shop

    Gregor Technologies - Hurco Technology Promotes 25% AGR

    ​ “We truly believe the key to providing quality products is to invest in technology and our employees.” How does a company sustain an average growth r...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Mill Turn, Conversational

    “We truly believe the key to providing quality products is to invest in technology and our employees.”


    How does a company sustain an average growth rate of 25 percent during the economic ups and downs of the last 22 years? For Gregor Technologies*, a Torrington, Connecticut contract manufacturer that offers a full machine shop, sheet metal fabrication, contract assembly, and design and engineering services,  the formula for growth is straightforward: the right machines + the right employees + continual customer responsiveness = sustained growth.
     
    John and Janice Gregorich started Gregor Technologies in 1989 when John bought his first Hurco—a KMP3 knee mill. Twenty-two years later, Gregor Technologies employs nearly 60 people, has 31 Hurco machine tools, and occupies a 70,000 square foot building. Their success is based on being responsive to their customers while investing in technology that maximizes the shop’s productivity so each job is profitable. When it comes to machine tool technology, Gregor Technologies relies on Hurco.
     
    “I bought my first Hurco because I wanted to have a lean, fast turnaround, customer-focused business,” says John Gregorich. Gregor Technologies is the perfect example of a shop that embraces technology and uses it to be more productive. In turn, they become more profitable. But the Gregor Technologies owners have a healthy skepticism of new technology. “We want to know the benefits and understand the learning curve,” says John Gregorich.
     
    This pragmatic approach led Gregor Technologies to Hurco. While attending a regional manufacturing show, John took a print of a straightforward part to each CNC mill vendor and asked each one to program the part and dry cycle it. Most vendors took 15-20 minutes to program the part and nearly all of them used a CAD/CAM system, which equaled more overhead in John’s mind. Once John arrived at the Brooks Machinery booth, he watched the Hurco distributor program the part in just 5 minutes on the Hurco mill.

    Gregor-Technologies-Part.jpgAs Gregor Technologies has grown, the company’s investment in Hurco machine tools has grown.  John bought that first Hurco KM3P knee mill in 1989, followed by a BMC30M, and now the Hurco lineup at Gregor Technologies includes a wide range of CNC machining centers and turning centers, including eight VM1 vertical machining centers, several machines from the performance VMX Series, several TM turning centers, and the newest additions, six 5-axis VM10U machining centers and two 5-axis VTXU machining centers.
    This investment in the Hurco VM10U 5-axis machining centers is another example of John and Janice Gregorich’s commitment to invest in relevant technology to meet their customers’ needs more efficiently. Because Gregor Technologies is dedicated to the belief that they are actually an extension of their customers’ companies, they continually work to meet aggressive delivery schedules, cost containment and quality “Dock to Stock” programs of their customers who must succeed in the competitive world of scientific instruments, aerospace, fluid control systems, and homeland security. To exceed their customers’ expectations, Gregor Technologies has used Hurco technology and specialized production software as the building blocks to continually improve and identify efficiencies.

    Some shops look at a 5-axis/5-sided machine as too complicated or think the technology is too expensive for the jobs they’re doing. John again approached this investment pragmatically. Because the Hurco control powered with WinMax software is truly easy to learn and easy to use, it only took John two hours to program his part on the VM10U and start making chips. “The five-sided software is great. It’s very simple to use. Once I used the Transform Part Zero feature, everything else fell into place quickly,” says John. “On our 3-axis machines, we had 6 setups. Now I do the same part on our new VM10U and we only have two setups,” says Gregorich.
     
     
    At Hurco, these collaborative relationships with customers like John and Janice Gregorich foster innovation and drive the Hurco team to develop more technology that helps customers be more productive, more profitable, and grow their businesses. In turn, Hurco grows with their customers. Gregor Technologies shares the same philosophy and is dedicated to investing in the best technology to continually help their customers succeed. In turn, Gregor Technologies continues to succeed.
     
    Says John Gregorich, “We would not be the company we are today if it wasn’t for Hurco.”
     
    *Gregor Technologies was recently acquired by Metals USA